Sergio Perez admits finding the right balance on his Red Bull has proven difficult so far this weekend in Turkey, however that hasn't dampened his optimism heading into Sunday's race.
The Mexican set the seventh fastest time in qualifying at Istanbul Park, but he will start from P6 on the grid given Lewis Hamilton's engine-related penalty.
Christian Horner commented that Mercedes appear to have nailed their setup after strong showings on Friday and Saturday, with Perez noting things have been more difficult for Red Bull.
"It has been [more difficult] for us, yes," Perez told RacingNews365.com and other members of the media when asked about the matter.
"I think Mercedes are showing very strong pace, but we'll see tomorrow.
"I think the race is gonna be very long, degradation is going to be very high, so there's plenty to play for."
Nevertheless, Perez remains optimistic heading into Sunday, explaining that some of the changes Red Bull have made to his car should help his race pace.
"I'm very happy with the performance over the weekend," he added.
"I think we've shown, at times, very good pace, and I think that final run in Q3 on the new tyre was unfortunate, because we obviously only had one set available for us, and I didn't improve anything.
"I picked up quite a lot of free grip and I went into a lot of understeer, and that made things quite a lot harder. Given how short the gaps are around here, it made the difference.
"I'm optimistic. I think we showed good pace on Friday on the long run, so I would expect the changes that we did to favour our race pace, or we should be able to come through."
Video: Red Bull show off Honda tribute livery for Turkish GP
Check out the special livery that Red Bull will run for the Turkish Grand Prix, as a tribute to outgoing engine partner Honda.